Sunday, December 25, 2011

A gift and a story rooted in timeless teachings

My daily world doesn't include young teens anymore, but I am fortunate to know a young man in Sandersville who I consider to be my friend. Cody is a voracious reader and loves animals so for several years I gave him a subscription to National Geographic Kids for Christmas. A couple of years ago I switched to a young adult type literary bi-monthly which didn't take off like wildfire with him (and Cody was very gracious when he told me it wasn't the right fit for him).

This year I thought about a new magazine subscription until I ordered an anniversary edition DVD of "To Kill a Mockingbird" for my daughter's birthday. I checked and found out that Cody had not seen the movie or read the book, so today he unwrapped copies of both.

Harper Lee's story of deep racial prejudice (as well as economic and social injustices) holds just a true today as it did when it was published in 1960, in September 2011, and today. But perhaps what makes Lee's novel an appropriate Christmas gift, is that it teaches a timeless lesson of kindness and respect for all people, regardless of the color of their skin, how much money they make, where they go to church, or how far they got in school. In fact, it seems to be grounded in many of the teachings of the man whose birth is celebrated by millions around the world today.

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